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How Can I Effectively Teach Unprepared Students?

Presenters: Ken Alford, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Tyler Griffin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University

This course is worth 1 hour (0.1 CEU) of professional development. A certificate of completion can be printed once the program has been completed.


About this Course


They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

But what happens when the teachers are ready and the students aren’t?

Find out in How Can I Effectively Teach Unprepared Students?, a Magna 20-Minute Mentor. 

You’ll learn principles and practices you can implement immediately to provide learning opportunities for unprepared students and motivate them to become active, engaged learners.


Because many factors can contribute to a student’s failure to complete course readings and assignments, a multifaceted response is required.

This program takes a broad-spectrum approach to the problem of unprepared and underprepared students, addressing motivation, responsibility, and communication practices and provides you with real-world, tested techniques to address these key issues.

After watching this program, you’ll be able to:

  • Apply course design principles to increase student preparation and improve performance
  • Use strategic teaching techniques to help students succeed
  • Evaluate course areas where operative changes can be implemented


The session is based on course design principles and the teaching experiences of the presenters in many classroom settings.

Teaching in colleges and universities today can be very challenging, particularly when unprepared or unresponsive students make you feel like you’re talking to a wall or trying to pull teeth.

This Magna 20-Minute Mentor doesn’t promise miracles, but it can steer you toward new approaches, even when you think you’ve tried everything.

How Can I Effectively Teach Unprepared Students? takes a close look at problems you may have encountered with students. It delves more deeply into these issues and provides you with two or three ways to address the matter.

The structure is perfect for busy and independent professionals because it allows you to look for the specific challenges you face most frequently and select solutions that suit your circumstances. 

This program will cover:

  • The most effective time to emphasize course relevance for students
  • The importance of establishing fixed expectations and firm consequences
  • Positive ways to use incentives
  • The communication benefits of “non-examples”
  • The appropriate use of “just in time” opportunities


How Can I Effectively Teach Unprepared Students? is designed for new faculty members or those with an intermediate level of experience.

However, any instructor dealing with unprepared students will find this content-rich presentation full of useful material. Unprepared students are frequently cited as a major factor in faculty burnout, so be sure to take advantage of this professional development opportunity before it’s too late.